There are many reasons that people buy a used car instead of a new one. Sometimes it’s a matter of being between the rock of basic transportation and the hard place of limited funds. Other times there are models that people find particularly desirable that aren’t made any more or were revamped for the new model year. Still other people never buy a new car because they prefer the financial advantages.
The primary financial advantage of buying a used car is that you won’t absorb the high initial cost of depreciation, about 12 percent the first year. Some financial advisers recommend used cars for this reason. Because cars are better made now they last longer, so a three-year-old, pre-owned certified car will provide a good value compared to a similar new model. Plus, the amount of research you can do now—not only a make and model, but the exact vehicle you’re considering—has ballooned in the past decade. Certified pre-owned vehicles have taken some uncertainty out of buying used and sometimes a vehicle will still carry a portion of the new warranty.